The White and Pure Antarctic
The “White Giant”. Is the name given to the only continent that is almost entirely covered with snow and ice. There are thirty million cubic kilometers of this element, almost 90% of such in the world today. Despite the amount of water it contains in its solid state, its surface is considered a desert: the cold temperature and scarce precipitation prevent humidity. Less than five centimeters of snow which falls annually are a small but constant contribution to the enlargement of the ice cap which is two kilometers thick on average. (Piwonka, 1992)
Video courtesy of Jorge Aspillaga
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“In the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord” (Antarctic Treaty, 1959)
Today 26 countries have bases installed permanently in the white continent, some of them are only occupy on summer, because of the extreme cold weather, which the temperatures in winter average -50ºC. These bases are installed only with scientific purpose, because of an international peace and cooperation agreement.
|Arrows indicating the distance from there to some place. Example: Ecuador, Punta Arenas.
Photo courtesy of Jorge Aspillaga
The Chilean Antarctic has a surface of 1.250.000 Km². There are 20 bases, of which 6 are permanently used. The first base of the Antarctic was constructed in 1940 at the Greenwich Island, and it was made in only 29 days, it was called “Capitán Arturo Prat”. It was officially closed in 2004.
- Captain Arturo Prat
- General Bernardo O'Higgins
- President Eduardo Frei Montalva
- Lieutenant Rodolfo Marsh
- Professor Julio Escuder
- Pedro Aguirre Cerda
"Villa las Estrellas", Stars Village
In Saint George Island is located the Stars Village. In this place live around of 15 families, which have the job of make sovereignty. There is a school, a hospital, a bank, a post office, a library, and a church, in order that those families could have a normal life whereas they live there (one to two years).